England’s World Cup squad have arrived back in the country to the slightest of shakes of the head, Back of the Net's Paul Watson reports...
After crashing out of the World Cup at the group stage, England’s players admitted they were disappointed that barely anyone had gathered at Luton Airport to jeer them.
Roy Hodgson’s side became the first England team to exit the World Cup at this early stage since 1958, and played with an almost complete lack of flair, passion and enthusiasm in Brazil.
Hours after completing a lifeless 0-0 draw with Costa Rica in a game marred by the fact it had to take place, England’s players boarded a flight to Luton Airport excitedly anticipating the tarring and feathering that surely awaited.
However, the reception was to disappoint as only a handful of people had gathered to watch their plane land, the majority in the false belief it was their delayed Ryanair flight to Barcelona.
"I can’t deny it was something of a flat feeling coming back to that,” goalkeeper Joe Hart told FourFourTwo.
“I think we’d all imagined we’d at least be on the receiving end of some flaming garbage, but there was barely anyone there and most people just asked us if we were from The Only Way Is Essex or something.
“I reckon a couple of people scowled and sniffed slightly at us, but that might just have been hay fever.”
Realising that an awkward situation had developed, England’s national team sponsors Vauxhall sent staff to boo the players as they waited for their bags, but for many of the players it failed to convince.“Nobody even mentioned my performance against Uruguay,” Gerrard lamented. “I mean, how many opposition goals do I have to set up to get a good heckling?
“I really miss that warm tingling sensation of boiled tar being tipped over me from a great height. I thought we deserved that.”
Gerrard concluded by stressing that he hoped fans would single out England’s flops for abuse during the start of the new season, but admitted he doubted anyone would remember England had been part of the World Cup by that time.